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India’s shooting coaches Pavel and Oleg set to go after Tokyo Olympics debacle | Tokyo Olympics News

PUNE: After Indian shooters’ poor show at the Tokyo Olympics, a revamp of the system, it seems, has begun.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) chief Raninder Singh had expressed his displeasure over the shooters’ performance and hinted towards a ‘complete overhaul’ of the coaching staff. To start with, it appears that the foreign coaches will face the brunt as the NRAI may not renew their contracts, which expired after the Olympic Games.
Rifle coach Oleg Mikhailov of Ukrainian and pistol coach Pavel Smirnov of Russia are set for the exit door. While Pavel joined as the Indian team coach after 2012, Oleg was appointed as rifle coach after the Rio Games in 2016.
The two coaches were recommended by the NRAI and were working on Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) contract and it is learnt that the shooting body has not recommended their contract renewal.
“Pavel had one job of preparing shooters in the 25m rapid fire pistol to qualify for the Olympics. Not only did he fail to get even one shooter qualify for the Games, he had almost no contribution in training other shooters in the team,” a source told TOI. Both Pavel and Oleg have been getting approximately $7,500 per month, plus free stay and travel from SAI.
Another thing that has gone against Pavel is his temper which was the reason for the shooting body’s embarrassment, recently.
It is learnt that Pavel, who was sent for the preparatory camp in Croatia, got involved in an argument with the army officials of Croatia in Zagreb.
Pavel was asked for his accreditation by officials at the shooting range in Zagreb, but the Russian allegedly refused to produce his card.
The matter was reported to the NRAI by the Zagreb shooting body. Pavel was not sent to Tokyo with the team.
On the other hand, rifle shooters’ below-par scores at the Tokyo Games have raised questions over Oleg’s contribution.
“Only Elavenil (Valarivan) and Aishwary Tomar showed some fight. Oleg failed to justify his position in the set-up,” the source added.

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